The WPF Challenge

Here ye, here ye!!

I hereby challenge you to create a WPF application which uses WPF in an interesting and/or innovative way.  The application must be accessible via a link in a comment posted to this blog entry, no later than March 12, 2007.  You may enter as many applications as you wish, but an application can only be submitted by one person (no teams).  You must create the application(s) you submit!

Soon after March 12th a panel of three anonymous judges (no…not Me, Myself, and I) will choose the three coolest applications.   I will post a blog entry which discusses each winning application and, optionally, it’s creator.  In addition to some time in the spotlight, the winners will receive the following prizes:

First Place: The first place winner will receive…

* 1 year subscription to the Infragistics NetAdvantage for WPF with Priority Support.  This includes 6 awesome controls that will rock anyone’s WPF world!

* The Blueprint Edition of the Xceed DataGrid for WPF (compliments of Xceed).  The Blueprint Edition is the edition of the Xceed DataGrid for WPF which includes the complete C# and XAML source code, and 1-year’s worth of priority support and access to their advanced updates for the product. It’s currently priced at $599.95, but they also have a free version of their DataGrid (without all the goodies) that you can download here.

* A “Josh Smith on WPF” t-shirt. 

Second Place: The second place winner will receive…

* 1 year subscription to which ever one of the following Infragistics NetAdvantage products you choose (these are MSRP @ $795 and, of course, include source code):

a. NetAdvantage for WPF
b. NetAdvantage for Windows Forms
c. NetAdvantage for ASP.NET
d. NetAdvantage for JSF

* A copy of Adam Nathan’s new book ‘Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed’ (compliments of Xceed)

* A “Josh Smith on WPF” t-shirt.

Third Place: The third place winner will receive the same prizes as the second place winner, except for the book.

The “Josh Smith on WPF” t-shirt can seen below:

Front of shirt   Back of shirt

Remember, to submit an application into the contest you must post a link to it in a comment on this blog entry.  In the comment with the link, also briefly describe what the application does, who might use it, what features of WPF it uses, etc.  The application must be available at your specified URL by March 12, 2007.  You are required to make the source code available unless you post a link to a live XBAP (i.e. do not submit an EXE) .  

When you post a link to your application in a comment on this blog entry, please provide an accurate e-mail address so that I can contact you later if you win.  Don’t worry, your e-mail address will not be publicly visible on my blog.

All submissions are listed on the WPF Challenge Submissions page.

Let the games begin!

55 Responses to The WPF Challenge

  1. M. Bell says:

    Now this here is a great idea. You are the WPF *Man*!!

    I don’t know that I’ll have the free time to work on my own xbap for the challenge…but will be watching to see who wins it. How can we bribe those judges if they’re anonymous? 😉

    Where did u get the tee shirts from??? They look nice.

  2. Josh Smith says:


    Thanks. I’m quite interested to see what applications are submitted into the contest. With an ad-hoc event like this, you never know what type of feedback to expect.

    Sorry, no bribing the judges. 🙂

    I designed the t-shirts on a Web site ( They weren’t cheap, so hopefully I bought the right sizes for the winners! I don’t actually have them yet, they’re in the process of being created and shipped right now.


  3. locke says:

    Can I submit a WPF/E app instead of XBAP?

  4. Hey Josh,

    Thanks for organizing this. I’m pretty excited. I hope to compete, but I’m really focussed on the WPF/E side of the ball at the moment. So we’ll see. Regardless, I really look forward to see what comes of this.

    Thanks again!

  5. Josh Smith says:

    Chad, locke:

    Thanks for expressing interest in The WPF Challenge. I had considered including WPF/E apps as an option for submissions, but decided against it. My reasoning is that XBAPs and WPF/E apps are different animals, and it would be difficult to compare them when choosing the winners. If you want to, you could create an XBAP which hosts WPF/E content in it. That would be very cool!

    I plan on making the next competition The WPF/E Challenge.

    Thanks for the feedback,

  6. The Real Deal says:

    What make you think there is somebody who wants play this stupid game? Who has time for those things at all? Get a life!

  7. Josh Smith says:

    The Real Deal,

    First off, do not use my blog as a place to express your mindless arrogance. Nobody comes here to read your petty insults. Grow up.

    I chose to host this competition for a few reasons:

    – I think that a lot of people will be interested in entering The WPF Challenge. It seems like a great way to get the WPF community excited about each other’s ideas, which is what a good dev community thrives on.

    – It provides the participants with an opportunity to gain some public exposure in the WPF community. Creating a name for yourself is very helpful for getting good jobs, better salaries, etc.

    – It might inspire other people to host similar competitions. Then I’ll have a chance to participate, too!


  8. Odi Kosmatos says:

    “It might inspire other people to host similar competitions.”

    I think it will. Meanwhile, are you open to outside contributions for prizes for your winners? (couldn’t find your email address to propose this in private)

  9. Bruno Silva says:

    This is a GREAT idea Josh, I’ll try to participate, I have work and two projects to work on right now, but I’ll try to fit this in somehow :D.

    Congratulations on the great blog, I’ve been reading it for some months now 🙂

  10. Josh Smith says:


    Thanks for the encouragement. I hope to see an XBAP submission of yours! 🙂


  11. Ok, I’ll bite… here’s tic-tac-toe built with InkCanvas. It includes a (very) rudimentary handwriting recognizer, in code-behind, to distinguish between “X” and “O”. 🙂

    Source available here:

  12. Josh Smith says:


    Alright! Congrats for being the first person to submit something into The WPF Challenge!! Nice app. 🙂


  13. Ales Sturala says:

    It is not xbap! … but .. WPF is great :]

  14. Judah says:

    Hey Josh,

    Cool idea.

    I’m a total newb with WPF, but I’ll try to bake something up in my spare time.

    Take care,

  15. Nice to meet you!

    It is a very wonderful plan.
    Technology is insufficient although I also want to participate.
    I will make it reference from now on.

    Since it is a Japanese, please forgive, when a mistake is in English.

  16. Josh Smith says:

    Hello tadahiro higuchi,

    Thank you! I am excited to see what type of WPF applications people submit to the contest.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure my Japanese is far, far worse than your English. 🙂


  17. Josh Smith says:


    This might be a great opportunity for you to dive into the alternate dimension known as WPF! Once you get into it, you’ll never want to look back.


  18. […] Josh Smith’s Hearting Pounding Best XBap Challenge of DOOOOOOOM!!!! […]

  19. Hi Josh,

    I’m strongly considering authoring an XBAP for the contest, however, there is a roadblock that I’m guessing others share. My web hosting provider does not support the .NET 3.0 framework. I’m attempting to get them to do such.

    However, my question is… do you know of any hosting providers that support the .NET 3.0 framework? It would be awesome if there was a single server competitors could upload their work to for this contest.

  20. Josh Smith says:


    No, sorry I don’t know of any server we could use to host the XBAPs. I’m looking into it, but don’t depend on me to find one. I might not! 🙂


  21. Hi Josh,

    I’ve been working on an XBAP based on a simple C# physics engine. You can check it out here: (direct link to XBAP at

    It’s pretty basic (work in progress) but I’d love to enter it in the competition :o) I’ll be posting source code soon (after I clean it up)…



  22. Josh Smith says:


    Sweet idea! Your app is in the WPF Challenge. 🙂


  23. Odi Kosmatos says:

    Chad, we’d be happy to host your XBAP on (As long as you warrant that you have all the rights to the contents of the XBAP required to to allow Xceed to host the XBAP without infringing anyone elses rights 🙂

    Our servers are configured to host XBAPs already. All you have to do is email it to me at and our webmaster will promptly put it online and provide you with the link to give to Josh.

  24. Josh Smith says:


    Thanks for offering to host Chad’s XBAP. I’ll send him an e-mail alerting him of your kind offer.


  25. As well as my XBAP I’d like to submit a WPF EXE (using a different but more capable physics engine).

    Here are the links: (main app) (source code) (NewtonDynamics engine C# wrapper)



  26. Josh Smith says:

    Thanks again Chris,

    Your desktop app has been “officially” submitted:


  27. […] might have noticed my subtle blog post on Josh Smith’s Xbap Competition. Apparently, there are still some servers out there who haven’t registered xbap mime types so […]

  28. Rob Relyea says:

    I wrote a post to help you drive this issue with your website hoster:!167AD7A5AB58D5FE!1661.entry

    I’m also looking for official MS channels to work through.
    Thanks, Rob

  29. I’ll enter my project at

    It’s a vector graphics editor. It uses XBAP for it’s save format.

    Once cool thing about it is that it calls a web service to render text, so that you don’t have to download the 1200 fonts that are availabe.

    There’s some extreme hackery to get file save to work.

    Source code won’t be available. It’s still a work in progress.

  30. Oh. I meant it uses XAML for it’s save files.

  31. Josh Smith says:

    Thanks, Bryan. I’ll announce your submission and put it on the “Submissions Page” tonight. Nice work! Thanks for submitting your app. 🙂

  32. John Stewien says:

    I dont’ have much to show in public. I’ve got a little test app I wrote in September 2006 here

    On the first tab is a chart control for which I have a little open source project going here

    On the second tab is a Lens Panel that changes the layout of things that are on it as you move the mouse over them. I’m going to put up a code project article about this in the future. I did a small write up of how it works in June 2006 here!E6885DB5CEBABBC8!164.entry

  33. John Stewien says:

    I think you moderated in a comment spam by “Elizabeth”. Check her website link.

  34. Josh Smith says:

    Thanks John.

    I’m not sure why but when I navigate to your XBAP, I get an “Internet Explorer cannot display the page” error.


  35. John Stewien says:

    Hi Josh,

    strange it doesn’t work. I just tried it from 2 machines both running IE7 and it worked on them, one running XP SP2 , the other running XP x64.

  36. Josh Smith says:


    It loads properly on my machine at work. Very nice! I’ll create a write-up about it tonight and enter it into the Submissions List.


  37. […] has very kindly sent me a {Josh Smith on WPF} t-shirt which is part of the prize package for his WPF Challenge programming contest. Here’s a photo of me wearing this really cool t-shirt […]

  38. Please find my WPF Challenge submission here:



    This is a desktop sticky note app written in WPF c#. It is my very first Winforms application (I’m an kinda guy), and I did it as a way to get familiar with WPF. Also my wife has been bugging me forever to write her something to this effect.

    Hope you like it and please feel free to send me comments/bugs/suggestions (you can use the issue tracker at the google project home if you want).


  39. Dave Biggar says:

    My WPF Challenge submission:

    ‘Arboretum1.xbap’ shows my photos of trees, leaves and bark from the Dominion
    Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada.
    The main photo is selected by the user from three ListBoxs: genus name, species
    name and a listbox of thumbnail images. The English, French and Scientific names of
    the trees are given.

    The WPF features:
    XAML; XmlDataProvider; DataContext; ListBox; Binding; XPath; pack://siteoforigin;
    BitmapFrame; ResourceDictionary; Static/DynamicResource; Style; Animation;
    ContentPresenter; XamlReader.

    Code-behind (C#) handles ‘GenusChanged’, ‘SpeciesChanged’, ‘PhotoListSelection’ and
    conversion of XAML contained in the XML data file.

    Dave Biggar

  40. Emad Ibrahim says:

    Here is a simple notepad replacement done in WPF. It has multiple tabs, drag and drop, spell checking and is deployed using ClickOnce. So I will be adding more features as time goes and you will be able to get the updated version automatically.

    Get it from:

    PS: It looks and works so much better in Vista.

  41. I have 2 applications: a simple WPF RSS Reader and the other it’s called Sticky Notes

    You can get it from:

    Code behind: C#


  42. I have written a WPF designer for SharpDevelop.
    It’s far from being complete, but you can already use it to lay out controls on a Canvas or Grid (but other containers are not yet supported).
    The designer is extensible – e.g. adorners like the ones used for the Grid can be easily added without modifying the designer source code. It can be hosted in any WPF application, included is “StandaloneDesigner” as an example.

    Source code:

    Daniel Grunwald

  43. Josh Smith says:

    Emad and Gavrilovici,

    Since your applications are not deployed as XBAPs, the rules of The WPF Challenge require that the source code for your applications be made publicly available. Otherwise your applications are not eligible submissions.


  44. Sorry. I didn’t knew that

    Source code for Sticky Notes:

    Source code for WPF RSS Reader:



    IndustryNext, a technology and design firm which delivers innovative products and services to clients and consumers would like to submit a word game for the WPF challenge. The purpose of this project was to explore the technical possibilities of WPF, to gain experience in WPF’s strengths and weaknesses, and to create a sample application which can be used for demonstration purposes. IndustryNext does not plan to release the source code at this time but the lead developer on the project, Johnny Turpin, will answer any technical questions regarding the game’s implementation.

    A simple guide can be found by typing “/help” in the command line box under the text output window.

    For more information about IndustryNext, please visit

  46. Chau says:

    I created a simple animation that usually would have been done using something like Flash.
    I’ve written a lot of code for the .NET framework, but nothing for animations, so it was interesting how far I could get with Expression Design and Blend. I’ve only scratched the surface, and will make the animation better and more interactive as time goes on.

    P.S. The uniNetwork logo in the animation is the letter “u” and “i” together as 1, symbolizing UNIR1 (you and I are one).


  47. Vítor says:


    I am creating a Office style workspace with a Simple Ribbon and floating Windows everything in Partial Trust.

    Future decisions:
    – ToolWindows Maximization and Minimization;
    – Full workspace colorization;
    – Create template for more controls such Button, Combobox, etc;




  48. Hey Josh, just to clarify… Although I submitted my application on behalf of the company I work for (Industry Next) – I was 100% the only developer to work on this application. Just saying because after reading over the submission blurb, I realized it sounded kinda like a corporate team project which is not the case. I guess you could say it was a corporate sponsered excercise – which is hopefully allowed in the contest.

  49. […] WPF Challenge winners The winners of The WPF Challenge have been determined.  It was difficult to pick three winners, because many of the submitted […]

  50. Mujtahid says:

    i just want to know, how i make great wpf application?
    where i learn from?and the tools?

  51. […] et fin du WPF Challenge John Smith organisait un concours de la meilleur applications WPF il y as quelques temps de cela. Mon post est relativement en retard […]

  52. Hi Josh,

    Greetings! It’s nice to know that such contests exist. However, I just read this blog post a few days ago and wasn’t able to to join anymore. Will there be another contest for WPF?

  53. Josh Smith says:


    I don’t have any plans at this time for holding another competition, but I might decide to at some point.


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